04 May 2024

Clubs call for FA Cup winners to get Champions League place

04 May 2024

Clubs calling for changes to the FA Cup have demanded the winners be given England’s fourth Champions League place in a bid to reignite Premier League interest in the competition.

Campaign group Fair Game made the call on Saturday after consultation with its 34 member clubs, plus those who signed a letter to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer earlier this week calling for FA Cup replays to be reinstated.

Fair Game chief executive Niall Couper said: “The FA Cup is a symbol of the football pyramid and the long history and traditions of our game. It cannot continue to be devalued.

“The first step is an easy one: give the fourth Champions’ League spot to the winners of the FA Cup.”

Fair Game said the move would “reincentivise” Premier League clubs and restore “respect” for the FA Cup.

PA understands that the FA would need to lobby UEFA to make such a change, but that it would ultimately be UEFA’s decision.

The Football Association announced last month that replays were being scrapped from the first round proper from next season, to ease the congestion burden on top-flight clubs playing in Europe caused by the expansion of UEFA competitions.

The move was heavily criticised by some EFL clubs and those lower down the pyramid over the lack of consultation.

Fair Game is leading calls for MPs to amend the Football Governance Bill, which has at its heart the creation of an independent football regulator, to ensure that any major changes to a competition like the FA Cup require a majority vote in favour by the clubs involved.

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